BREAKING NEWS Vehicle crashes through Rochester apartment wall Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

National Exercise Program Fast Facts

Here's a look at what you need to know about the ...

Posted: Sep 25, 2018 3:53 AM
Updated: Sep 25, 2018 3:53 AM

Here's a look at what you need to know about the National Exercise Program, the US system for emergency preparation drills. These exercises are mandated by Congress to test and strengthen federal, state, and local government ability to respond to potential catastrophic events.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Exercise Division (NED) oversees the National Exercise Program (NEP).

Biological and chemical weapons

Bombs and explosive devices

Companies

Diet, nutrition and fitness

Dirty bombs

Exercise and fitness

Health and medical

International relations and national security

Military

Military weapons

National security

NLÉ

North America

Northeastern United States

Nuclear weapons

Terrorism

Terrorism and counter-terrorism

Terrorist attacks

United States

Unrest, conflicts and war

Washington, D.C.

Weapons and arms

Weapons of mass destruction

Fast Facts

Continents and regions

The Americas

The first series of drills were called TOPOFF, which ran from 2000 to 2009.

The second series was called National Level Exercises (NLE), and ran from 2009 to 2012.

The National Exercise Program began Capstone Exercises in 2012.

TOPOFF Operations:
TOPOFF - is short for TOP OFFICIALS. Governors, mayors, city managers, top federal and state officials, and others play active roles.

Sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security Office for State and Local Government Coordination.

Designed to involve all levels of government as well as emergency service responders including police, fire, public health workers and others.

States volunteer to participate in TOPOFF; two are chosen for each cycle.

TOPOFF 1:
May 20, 2000 - The first TOPOFF drill is mandated by Congress in 1998. It lasts ten days and cost $3.5 million.

The exercise features a bioterrorism attack in Denver, a chemical warfare attack in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and other activities in Washington.

In New Hampshire, a mix of garlic and Gatorade is substituted for a bomb armed with mustard gas.

Some lessons learned include: quick medical supplies depletion, hospitals filling to maximum capacity quickly, communication breakdowns (telephone lines), insufficient manpower, and poor decision-making skills.

State officials say the drill taught them that rescue personnel need better training and protective gear.

TOPOFF 2:
May 12-16, 2003 - Takes place in Chicago and Seattle.

TOPOFF 2 is a "five-day, full-scale exercise and simulation of how the Nation would respond in the event of a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) attack."

TOPOFF 2 is the first large-scale counter-terrorism exercise since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Created by the Department of Homeland Security, the weeklong set of drills cost an estimated $16 million.

More than 8,500 people from 100 federal, state, and local agencies, as well as the American Red Cross and Canadian government, are involved.

The Seattle event is a dirty bomb, while the Chicago event is the release of a deadly biological agent.

TOPOFF 3:
April 4-8, 2005 - Takes place in Connecticut and New Jersey. Approximately 10,000 participants from 27 federal agencies, state, county, and local officials and more than 150 private sector and non-government organizations take part. In total, over 275 government and private organizations participate. Interrelated events take place in Canada (TRIPLE PLAY) and Great Britain (ATLANTIC BLUE).

The Connecticut event simulates a chemical weapons attack in New London; the New Jersey event simulates a vehicle-launched bioterror attack.

TOPOFF 3 carries a budget of approximately $16 million.

TOPOFF 4:
October 15-19, 2007 - Takes place in Portland, Oregon; Phoenix, and the US territory of Guam.

The event is based on a scenario in which terrorists detonate a simulated "dirty bomb" in Guam, with similar, coordinated attacks later taking place in Phoenix and Portland, Oregon.

TOPOFF 4 involves more than 15,000 federal, state, territorial, and local participants. Of that number, approximately 4,500 are involved in the activities in Oregon.

This is the first TOPOFF event to include the participation of a US territory.

Dirty bombs, formally known as Radiological Dispersal Devices, are conventional explosives that release radioactive material upon explosion.

National Level Exercises
2009 - It is announced that TOPOFF exercises will continue under a new name, Tier 1 National Level Exercise (NLE). These are conducted annually in accordance with the National Exercise Program (NEP). The exercises are still designed to provide all levels of government an opportunity to prepare for crises ranging from terrorism to natural disasters.

National Level Exercise 2009 (NLE 09):
July 27-31, 2009 - Takes place at federal headquarters facilities in Washington, and in federal, regional, state, tribal, local and private sector facilities in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and California. Additionally, Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom participate.

The NLE 09 scenario begins in the aftermath of a national terrorist event outside of the United States, and the exercise centers on preventing efforts by the terrorists to enter the United States and carry out additional attacks.

The exercise focuses exclusively on terrorism prevention and protection, as opposed to incident response and recovery.

National Level Exercise 2010 (NLE 10):
May 17-18, 2010 - NLE 2010 engages federal, state and local partners in a series of events to demonstrate and assess federal emergency preparedness capabilities pertaining to a simulated terrorist attack involving an improvised nuclear device. As part of NLE 2010, all federal agencies within the NCR participate in Eagle Horizon 2010, an exercise that requires federal departments and agencies to demonstrate their capability to perform mission essential functions in the event of a major emergency.

National Level Exercise 2011 (NLE 11):
May 2011 - Takes place at command posts, emergency operation centers and other locations, including federal facilities in Washington and federal, regional, state, tribal, local and private sector facilities in the eight-member states of the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC). The eight-member states are: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas and Missouri.

NLE 2011 simulates a major earthquake in the central United States region of the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ).

March 30, 2012 - The 2012 National Preparedness Report, which covers preparedness activities in 2011, is published.

National Level Exercise 2012 (NLE 12):
NLE 2012 is the first NLE that tests the existing plans and procedures to address the challenges in anticipating and responding to cyber incidents that have "virtual and real-world implications."

NLE 2012 simulates a series of significant cyber incidents involving physical impacts on infrastructure, that require coordination among all levels of the US government; various federal departments, agencies and cyber centers including the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) and the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT); states; the private sector; higher education institutions and international partners.

March 28-29, 2012 - Exercise 1 involves the representatives sharing classified and unclassified information and building a Cyber Common Operational Picture (COP).

April 25-27, 2012 - In Exercise 2, participants focus on and evaluate the draft National Cyber Incident Response Plan (NCIRP). They also test the nation's operational capabilities among the governmental entities, the private sector partners and international partner nations.

June 4-7, 2012 - Exercise 3 addresses Whole Community cyber and physical response coordination, including a Cabinet meeting.

June 19-21, 2012 - Exercise 4 evaluates the continuity capability of federal departments and agencies during a significant cyber event.

March 1, 2013 - The 2013 National Preparedness Report, which covers 2012 preparedness activities, is published.

Capstone Exercises
2012 - The National Level Exercise (NLE) changes its name to the Capstone Exercise.

2013 - The Capstone Exercise changes its format to a two-year cycle.

March 30, 2014 - The 2014 National Preparedness Report, which covers 2013 preparedness activities, is published.

2014 - The Capstone Exercise includes the following multi-event exercises: The Alaska Shield 2014, Ardent Sentry 14, Nuclear Weapon Accident/Incident Exercise, Eagle Horizon 2014, and Silver Phoenix 2014.

2014 - The Eagle Horizon 2014 exercise, which tests the government's response to potential attacks on public spaces like the DC Metro subway system, is canceled by the White House for undisclosed reasons. There are plans to resume the exercises with Eagle Horizon 2015.

2015 - The White House releases a list of planned exercises for Capstone 2016. The names are Cascadia Rising, Ardent Sentry 2016, Vigilant Guard 2016, Eagle Horizon 2016, Ultimate Caduceus and JLOTS.

April 20-21, 2015 - Eagle Horizon 2015 takes place throughout Washington.

May 2015 - A series of Continuity Exercises are conducted to assess response to such emergencies as earthquakes, nuclear accidents and chemical attacks. The exercises are called Vibrant Response 2015, NUWAIX 2015 and Ardent Sentry 2015. The FBI Marble Challenge 2015 is meant to replicate the complex process of locating and defusing a nuclear device on a timer.

March 30, 2016 - The 2016 National Preparedness Report, which covers 2015 preparedness activities, is published.

May 2016 - A series of Capstone 2016 exercises take place across the federal government in a series of five events.

January 2017 - The 2017-2018 National Exercise Program begins.

August 28, 2017 - The 2017 National Preparedness Report, which covers 2016 activities, is published.

May 2018 - More than 90 Federal departments and agencies participate in preparedness exercises to study and evaluate lessons from major US hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 88721

Reported Deaths: 2015
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin25628921
Ramsey10410318
Dakota7048125
Anoka5664132
Stearns371523
Washington352655
Scott238633
Olmsted226327
Nobles192616
Blue Earth15786
Wright15087
Carver13307
St. Louis131733
Rice12978
Mower12744
Clay123240
Sherburne107814
Kandiyohi9182
Winona84318
Lyon6384
Steele5162
Freeborn5113
Benton5003
Watonwan4984
Nicollet49616
Todd4732
Le Sueur4434
McLeod4402
Chisago4331
Waseca4258
Crow Wing41918
Otter Tail3794
Beltrami3714
Goodhue3249
Martin3049
Itasca27113
Polk2704
Isanti2440
Becker2422
Pine2390
Douglas2361
Carlton2351
Cottonwood2160
Pipestone2099
Morrison1951
Dodge1900
Chippewa1891
Unassigned18752
Sibley1763
Meeker1712
Wabasha1700
Brown1682
Murray1522
Yellow Medicine1482
Rock1460
Mille Lacs1413
Faribault1300
Redwood1290
Jackson1281
Renville1256
Cass1233
Swift1111
Roseau1100
Pennington1081
Houston1070
Fillmore1050
Kanabec1038
Koochiching1033
Lincoln1010
Stevens911
Pope860
Hubbard760
Aitkin701
Big Stone660
Wadena620
Grant574
Wilkin553
Lake530
Norman510
Marshall481
Mahnomen451
Lac qui Parle430
Red Lake370
Traverse290
Clearwater250
Lake of the Woods201
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 79506

Reported Deaths: 1256
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15227256
Johnson498527
Woodbury494461
Black Hawk433686
Linn3762106
Story327917
Scott276527
Dubuque276040
Dallas267538
Pottawattamie197637
Buena Vista194112
Marshall175934
Sioux13203
Wapello125757
Webster118914
Clinton106218
Muscatine106052
Plymouth103420
Crawford9944
Cerro Gordo99321
Warren9276
Jasper75632
Des Moines7377
Marion7074
Tama68731
Carroll6305
Henry6034
Lee5947
Wright5621
Dickinson4836
Bremer4637
Boone4627
Washington43011
Louisa42515
Mahaska33619
Franklin33517
Delaware3293
Hamilton3143
Floyd2963
Jackson2963
Winneshiek2935
Clay2883
Benton2811
Hardin2761
Winnebago26611
Butler2582
Clarke2553
Emmet25210
Jones2433
Poweshiek2438
Allamakee2425
Shelby2421
Lyon2413
Buchanan2351
Clayton2303
Cedar2191
Guthrie2175
Kossuth2170
Sac2090
Chickasaw2070
Grundy2012
Madison2012
Fayette1871
Cherokee1852
Howard1825
Iowa1821
Mitchell1810
Harrison1772
Hancock1722
Humboldt1713
Calhoun1692
Mills1651
Palo Alto1590
Pocahontas1512
Monroe14610
Page1410
Lucas1386
Jefferson1331
Monona1321
Cass1292
Osceola1250
Appanoose1203
Union1203
Taylor1191
Davis1134
Van Buren1091
Worth1020
Ida960
Keokuk901
Montgomery865
Greene840
Fremont820
Wayne812
Adair641
Audubon591
Decatur580
Ringgold412
Adams280
Unassigned230
Rochester
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 56°
Mason City
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 54°
Albert Lea
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 57°
Austin
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 55°
Charles City
Broken Clouds
50° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 50°
Warmer Weather Ahead
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

KEONA FOOTE'S MEMORIAL

Image

Sunday weather

Image

MORE STUDENTS NOT RETURNING TO COLLEGE

Image

MED CITY ARTS FESTIVAL

Image

ROCHESTER GINSBURG DEATH REACTION

Image

Saturday Weather

Image

What are the benefits of bringing football back to Minnesota this fall?

Image

Candlelight vigil for Prisoners of War

Image

MC Masters National Championship Regatta

Image

Early voting begins in Minnesota

Community Events